Change seems to be the flavor of the month. So I thought I must share with you how Paytm has changed right in front of my eyes!
Hi, my name is Abhishek Rajan and I have been associated with Paytm for almost 3 years now. I joined One97 Communications in April 2009. I was given the responsibility of setting up the commerce business vertical. Today, this commerce business vertical is popularly known as Paytm!
It’s always fun to create something from scratch. With no set rules to follow, one is only constrained by one’s own creativity and perseverance. With contributions from 3 other team members (1 product manager and 2 developers), I managed to build and launch One97’s first ever commerce product in August 2009. The product used to be known as One97’s mobile commerce platform, until June 2009 when I got the rare privilege of giving it the name PayTM, short for Pay Through Mobile. On 16 November 2009, Paytm Mobile Solutions Private Limited was registered as a subsidiary of the parent company One97 Communications and there was no looking back after that.
In 2010, we decided to enter the e-commerce business. Since Paytm had already become a known brand among our B2B customers, so we decided to use it for our B2C e-commerce business as well. Unfortunately the domain Paytm.com was unavailable, so we registered the domain paytmonline.com. The first version of our prepaid recharge website was launched in August 2010 with the address www.paytmonline.com. It was a thrilling feeling for me to see users coming to our site and buying prepaid recharge from us. It’s very similar to the sight of customers stepping into your newly opened shop and buying stuff. In the first week of launch, we used to do less than 40 recharge transactions in a day, amounting to a total recharge value of Rs.5000.
At such low volumes, every new transaction was a reason to cheer about. More so because we did not do any marketing or promotion. Not a single penny was spent to attract these customers to our website. All these users were coming to our site simply by finding our website link in google search or through our Facebook page. For many months we offered a free one month subscription of Jokes SMS Pack on every recharge of Rs.100 or more, and it made our customers really happy.
In December 2010 we finally managed to get back the domain name paytm.com and our site address was changed from paytmonline to paytm. At that time we were doing more than Rs.1 lakh worth of recharges every day, a 20x growth since our launch 4 months back.
August 2010 – January 2011
April 2011 – September 2011
Today, we do more than half a crore worth of recharges in a single day. The Paytm team has now grown 10 fold, from just 4 members in 2009 to 35+ across various functions like engineering, customer support, product development, marketing and network security. Btw, on the m-commerce front, we now have marquee customers like HomeShop18, DishTV and Snapdeal who trust Paytm as a secure mobile payment platform.
Life at Paytm has always been extremely exciting for me. Being a startup environment, I got the opportunity to wear multiple hats – from developing the beta version of the website to replying to the initial customer queries on email/phone/twitter, from ensuring that we always have sufficient recharge inventory in stock to running weekly contests on our facebook page, from collating jokes for the free sms pack to posting updates about new recharge plans on our blog, from bringing more online payment options to setting up a 24X7 customer support, from writing the content for all customer communications to adding new product features, from partnering with brands for free coupons to making paytm.com the most trusted and easy to use prepaid recharge destination. These days I am busy working towards enabling new products & services (other than recharge) on paytm.com.
While life at Paytm has always been a high speed roller coaster ride with its ups and downs, twists and turns, one thing never changed – your endless love & support that continues to inspire us to keep going on. We have many more miles to go before we sleep, after all we have the Paytm Promise to keep!